Registering for spring semester classes last fall left many students and faculty members frustrated with the Banner system. This time around, Chief Information Officer Bruce Vieweg and Registrar Erica Peterson put their heads together and came up with a free solution to registration woes.
“The easiest option, that didn’t cost any money, was to divide the classes (almost in half) by earned credits,” Vieweg said.
This meant changing from one registration each day at 6:30 a.m. to two registration times, staggered at 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. over four days. The change, because it cost no money, was beneficial to Concordia, as compared to other solutions that Vieweg and Peterson looked at like updating the entire system.
The results after registration finished on Friday were optimistic, and Vieweg received far fewer emails about registration–only eight this semester versus 117 last semester.
“Spring is always lighter than fall because seniors who are graduating don’t have to register,” Vieweg said. “So the true test of this system will be in the fall.”
Vieweg and Peterson already have plans to prepare for the fall, including how to troubleshoot student confusion over how many credits they’ve earned and students who have holds on their account. Vieweg hopes to send emails to each student reminding them of their correct time to register.
For those frustrated by a hold on their account discovered only a week before registration, Vieweg says there is a system in Banner that could automatically send an email to the student as soon as someone places a hold on their account rather than later in the semester.
Peterson found that the biggest problem in the fall was freshman not understanding the online system when they first go to register by themselves.
“We need to find new ways of reaching students who simply aren’t reading their email,” Peterson said.
She hopes to fix this problem by creating a tutorial freshman will go through before registering for their spring semester. The tutorial may be as simple as watching a video on YouTube made by the college on the do’s and don’ts of registering.
The bottom line of registration, as Vieweg puts it, is that the system may never be perfect. “No matter where you put a line, somebody is going to be just over it and somebody will be just under it,” Vieweg said.
Social media seemed in favor of the system, however, and Vieweg, who is Facebook friends with many of the students, received a large number of thanks through Facebook messages last week for fixing the system.
Sophomore Brandon Salden woke up ten minutes before his registration time on Wednesday without worry.
“It was definitely less stressful this semester,” Salden said.